American Idol’s performance style “may change forever the way Broadway sings.”

American Idol’s performance style “may change forever the way Broadway sings.”
American Idol‘s brand of “intensely emotional and oddly impersonal” singing “may change forever the way Broadway sings,” Ben Brantley argues in The New York Times. On the show, he says, “The accent is on abstract feelings, usually embodied by people of stunning ordinariness, than on particular character. Quivering vibrato, curlicued melisma, notes held past the vanishing point: the favorite technical tricks of ‘Idol’ contestants are often like screams divorced from the pain or ecstasy that inspired them.” He finds that various aspects of Idol have trickled into Broadway performances, from a “self-congratulatory element” to the way the show “celebrates stamina, will power and gymnastic agility,” which leads contestants to “hoist, hold and balance notes like barbells in a weight-lifting exhibition. And the audience claps and hoots instinctively every time such muscle-flexing occurs.”

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.


Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.